Dreaming Into The Night

Astrophotography Orion Nebula in Orion Constellation | Whims And Fancies

 

 

After a long gap due to being sick, I stepped outside under the night sky last week with my telescope.  My books and the night sky were two stable things in my life as a child.  Orion was the first constellation I learned about and he promptly became my friend.  I would chat away with this imposing figure in the winter sky and that continues even now.  His visit every year gets me excited about winter.  I intended to capture starlight from the Orion Nebula before I have to say goodbye to my starry friend.

 

 

Pleiades Star Cluster | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Astrophotography is a very time-consuming process which requires taking many a photo of the same object over a long span of time.  I wrapped myself up with many layers of clothing for a long, cold night outside.  Unfortunately, the wind had plans of its own, nudging my telescope around by being overtly playful that night.  After 45 minutes and only 4 good photos, I decided to stop and continue on another night.  I spent rest of the time enjoying being outside under the stars, dreaming of being a little closer to them.

 

 

Orange Maine Coon Cat | Whims And Fancies

 

 

My husband loves to spoil this boy by feeding him extra portions of kitty food.   He was an extremely happy boy that day, full of extra food.  I gave him the Union Jack pillow, and we shared the castle quilt to stay warm together.  He purred and dreamed beside me while I knitted into the night.

 

 

Socks Knitting Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Lulled into a peaceful state with the gentle purring of my cat, it didn’t take long for me to start dreaming as well.  Ever since I was a child, I wanted to travel more than anything.  Knitting warm woolens always makes me specially dream of the North.  Basking in new travel plans in my head, I worked toward finishing my very first pair of knitted socks.  These are keeping my perpetually cold feet wonderfully warm.

 

 

Dreams Are The Touchstones Of Our Characters Thoreau - Dreaming Into The Night | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Afterwards, while flipping through an old book, I found this tucked inside.   I assumed it came with the book until I realised the rubber stamps used on this were mine!  I have no recollection of when I made this.  I suppose such is the nature of dreams.

We don’t remember all of them, but some occasionally surface to remind us to continue to dream, reach for the stars and hope for change.

-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.

 

Walking In Warm Woolens

California Wine Country Morning Sunlit Tree Photography | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Last Wednesday morning I was up around 3:30 AM to view the lunar eclipse.  I was mostly outside until the total eclipse finished, shortly after 6:00 AM.  After being in the crisp, cold morning air for so long, I was too awake to go back to bed.  My husband was up with me.  So once the first rays of daylight started showing across the eastern sky, we put our hiking boots on and hit the trail.

 

The frosty ground was lazily lit up by the morning sun, turning it dazzling white.  As the frost slowly melted, the ground was filled with myriad sparkling diamond-bright water droplets.

 

 

California Wine Country Mustard Flowers Photography | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The yellow mustard flowers were peeking through the bare grape vines.

 

 

Menelaos Fingerless Mittens Knitting Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

 

It was cold, so I got to wear my new mitts.  I made them using the Menelaos pattern.  The pattern has the design only on the back side of the hand, but I wrapped the design around on the palm side as well. I used my own thumb technique too.  The pattern is very easy to follow and makes very cosy mitts.

 

 

Hat And Fingerless Mitts Knitting Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

 

My husband quite often drops by the local yarn store to pick up small surprises for me.  I made the Paragon Toque with the red yarn that he got for me, but there wasn’t enough to make a set of matching mitts.  He and the proprietor of the shop picked out the grey yarn for me.  I was a little sceptical at first, but I love the set now.  They kept me warm all throughout the hike.

 

 

California Wine Country Morning Fog Photography | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The valley was filled with morning fog, looking like a white sea.  This is the turning point of our hike.  Needless to say, we were extremely tired from waking up that early and after such a long hike, but…what a view!!  I love our local parks!

 

-Soma

 

Related Links –

Photos of the January 2018 Lunar Eclipse
Paragon Toque Pattern
Menelaos Mitts Pattern

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.

 

An Endeavourer – The Journey Begins

Comet Speeding Through Space - Art quilt inspired by nature and science. Quilted And Painted Fabric with Liquitex acrylic – Whims And Fancies

 

Speeding Through Space

 

A few months ago, after I came back from a holiday, a wonderful email from my dear friend Janine was awaiting me.  She talked about a new art quilt group called The Endeavourer, hosted by her and Catherine.  We are a group of 14, creating quilts that feature a chosen theme.  This quarter’s theme was Nature.

 

I love spending time under the open sky, hiking trails while looking for small hidden surprises.  I made quite a few nature-themed paintings last year, and I was looking for another creative angle.  I love the natural sciences, specially astronomy.  Looking at nature through science-coloured glasses gives me a deeper joy and that is what I wanted to use for inspiration.  I began sketching.

 

 

Science Inspired Art - Wave Interference Double Slit Experiment by Thomas Young | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I have always had a keen interest in the properties of light.  This was my first sketch based on a double-slit experiment by Thomas Young. It demonstrates the dual nature of light.  The design was defined by simple shapes and limited colours.  That became the style for rest of the sketches.

 

 

Science Inspired Art - Quantum Mechanics Atomic Orbital | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Then I started going down the rabbit hole.  The dual nature of light sparked another sketch from my all-time favourite –  Quantum mechanics featuring atomic orbitals.  It is a function that calculates the probability of an electron’s position in a region around an atom’s nucleus.  I find the orbital shapes to be really pretty.

 

 

Science Inspired Art - Turing Pattern Tiger Stripes | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Even after two drawings, I still continued sketching.  An English mathematician named Alan Turing wrote an article on patterns found in nature.   That and my love for tigers prompted this design.  I was pretty sure this was going to be the one.

 

 

Science Inspired Art - Sea Stacks And Star Trails | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Then last week it was raining here.  I was so deliriously happy that I cast aside all work and painted Sea Stacks with Star Trails.  I love the use of blue on this painting.

 

 

Science Inspired Art - Comet Speeding Through Space | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The markings from the Turing pattern and the colour blue from the sea stacks gave me my final drawing.  As I very hurriedly sketched this comet, I knew that I had my design.  I couldn’t believe I had not thought of this earlier.

 

 

Comet Speeding Through Space - Art quilt inspired by nature and science. Quilted And Painted Fabric with Liquitex acrylic – Whims And Fancies

 

 

The rest was easy!  I used converging variable-spaced straight line quilting from corner to corner to give it a sense of motion.  Once that was done, I started painting on the finished, quilted piece.

 

 

Comet Speeding Through Space - Art quilt inspired by nature and science. Quilted And Painted Fabric with Liquitex acrylic – Whims And Fancies

 

 

Painting on dark fabric required thicker paint.  I already had a set of acrylic paints at home.  Combining that with fabric medium, I slowly painted the comet on the quilted piece.  Nature is ever changing, ever moving, I believe a comet is a perfect representation of that.

 

 

Lunar Eclispe Montage January 31, 2018  Backyard Astronomy | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I will part with this lunar eclipse photo I took yesterday.  Nature inspires me to be creative every day.  As I made those different sketches, I got to explore different facets of nature.  I thought I’d share a little about my inspiration with you today.  I will write more about the making another day.

 

I feel like a true endeavourer.

 

 

The Endeavourers

 

Please visit my fellow Endeavourers for the quilts they made for this challenge.

Our Group Page – The Endeavourers

Catherine – http://www.knottedcotton.com
Janine – https://rainbowhare.com/
Nancy – http://www.patchworkbreeze.blogspot.com/
Carol – http://beadsandbirds.blogspot.com/
Barbara – https://theflashingscissors.blogspot.co.uk/
Ruth – http://benandcharlyscorner.blogspot.co.uk/
Gwen – https://textileranger.com/
Martha – www.weekenddoings.com
Julie – www.pinkdoxies.com
Maureen – https://josephinaballerina.com/
Tonia – http://allthingzsewn.blogspot.com
Kay – http://thecraftyyak.wordpress.com
Soma – http://www.whimsandfancies.com/
Fiona – http://celticthistlestitches.blogspot.co.uk/

 

-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.

 

Holiday Happiness

Sun Bow | Whims And Fancies

 

It was a very good holiday.  It started with a 4-mile run/hike in the park after quite a few foot injuries over the last 12 months.  As I stopped for a breather, I looked up and was greeted by a beautiful sun bow which I have never seen before.  Even though my latest broken toe suffered a little after the run, it felt so good to be out there under the open sky again.

 

 

Annual Book Drive At Barnes And Noble | Whims And Fancies

 

We went to the Barnes And Noble bookstore for the annual children’s book drive. We have been doing this for over a decade now.  Every year, we happily browse through the children’s section to pick out books, then purchase them at the register and leave them there to be distributed amongst disadvantaged children.  I hope these books provide them an escape like they still do for me.

 

 

Sticky Toffy Pudding Nigella Lawson | Whims And Fancies

 

Once a year, I indulge the child in me by eating my favourite dessert – sticky toffee pudding and vanilla ice cream – for breakfast.  I make it using Nigella Lawson’s easy recipe with reduced sugar for the sauce.

Imagine me sitting in my pyjamas, wearing fluffy house shoes, firing up the video game console with a bowl of this on my lap. 

 

 

Artists And Craftsman Art Supply | Whims And Fancies

 

We visited the Artists And Craftsman art supply store in San Francisco.  My husband waited very patiently with me while I browsed the shop.  During this first visit, I was elated to find so many of my favourite art supplies under the same roof.  Afterwards, we walked up to one of the many cafes in the area for a fabulous lunch ending with a decadent tiramisu.

 

 

Fabric basket | Whims And Fancies

 

I received a package from Kris.  The box was packed with sweet little things, beautiful fabrics, a hand-embroidered pincushion AND this lovely basket using penguin fabric.

I often paint sitting at the dining table. It gets great afternoon light.  Now I have this lovely basket to carry all my art supplies over from my atelier to the table.

 

 

Watercolour Paint Swatches | Whims And Fancies

 

New Year’s Eve, I started making paint swatches.  Approximately 7 hours later, after watching a few of our favourite movies and having a few small drinks, I finished painting all the swatches at 3:30 AM.  I made a total of 151 cards.

 

 

 

I also played with a few design ideas for new projects.  I am using very bold, minimalist graphics for this set.

 

 

Napa Woodland Hike | Whims And Fancies

 

The holiday concluded with a long hike on Saturday, followed by a mountain trail hike for my birthday on Sunday.  I had to nurse the injured foot, but that was not going to thwart me.  I suffer from severe acrophobia.  Mountain hikes are great for facing my fear.  My camera provides the distraction and my husband is the best companion.  The trail was exceptionally quiet that day and we had an exhilarating woodland hike.

 

My pre-holiday ennui has now disappeared.  I have a number of plans for the future.  Taking that next step is always daunting, but I feel ready to face that fear.  I can’t wait to share with you these new ideas.

-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.